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Occupational Profile

Human Ecologist

Human ecologists help people to enhance their well-being and quality of life at home, at work and in the community. They provide advisory, counselling, management, research and education services related to family functioning, parenting, consumer education, money management, textiles and clothing, foods and nutrition, and community resources.

  • Avg. Salary $66,708.00
  • Avg. Wage $35.44
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook Down
  • Employed 3,900
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Home Economist

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

44%
44%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Human Ecologist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Home Economists
NOC code: 4164.2
INNOVATIVE

Interest in co-ordinating information to conduct research on the development of new products, to discover facts on food and nutrition, and to test the uses of new products and materials

DIRECTIVE

Interest in consulting to advise consumers on the selection and proper use of food products, textiles and other consumer goods; may also provide consultative services in the areas of development and promotion of new food products, retail buying, social program administration and small business endeavours

SOCIAL

Interest in handling food products, textiles and other consumer goods for research and demonstration purposes

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation. 

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Human ecologists are multidisciplinary (include several specializations) specialists that use a holistic, preventative approach to help people optimally manage their daily lives. For example, they may develop and deliver programs on a wide range of topics:

  • parenting
  • intimate relationships
  • financial management
  • community leadership
  • meal planning and food choices
  • small business development
  • marketing and public relations
  • textiles and clothing production and consumption
  • life skills and lifestyle management
  • career planning. 

Human ecologists may:

  • provide leadership for organizational and community development
  • advise and coach individuals on career development, lifestyle management and personal image
  • conduct research on the impact of public policy on children and families
  • link individuals and families with community resources
  • provide leadership in delivering family and youth support services
  • work as specialists in nutrition education and promotion, food preparation and food safety
  • specialize in fashion merchandising, protective clothing design, apparel design or production, interior decorating, textile science or quality control testing 
  • teach and advise adults and children regarding life skills.
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Human ecologists work in a variety of office and field settings with business and community groups. Some work in corporate and government office environments; others work in manufacturing plants, retail stores, small businesses and not-for-profit service agencies. Depending on the nature of their work, some evening and weekend work, as well as travel, may be required. 

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Human ecologists need the following characteristics:

  • a genuine interest in people and in helping others
  • strong management, organization and leadership skills
  • a team-oriented, collaborative approach to work
  • adaptability, creativity, initiative and independence
  • excellent communication and presentation skills.

They should enjoy co-ordinating information, developing innovative approaches to problems, and consulting with and advising clients and customers.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

The minimum educational requirement is a four year bachelor of science (B.Sc.) degree in home economics, human ecology, family and consumer sciences, nutrition and food sciences, textiles and clothing, or equivalent.


Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Human Ecologist/Home Economist

Human ecologists and home economists develop, interpret, integrate and apply the principles of human ecology and home economics to enhance the quality of life of individuals and families. This includes advising individuals, families, organizations and communities, disseminating information, conducting research and planning, and conducting and evaluating related educational programs.

Legislation

Professional Human Ecologist and Professional Home Economist are protected titles under Alberta's Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act and Human Ecologist and Home Economist Regulation. This means that to call yourself a Professional Human Ecologist or Professional Home Economist, you must be a registered member of the Alberta Human Ecology and Home Economics Association (AHEA). You do not have to be registered if you do not call yourself a Professional Human Ecologist or Professional Home Economist.

Education

Registration as a professional member of AHEA requires a degree in human ecology or home economics that includes the history, philosophy and ethics of professional practice, or an approved equivalent program, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. For official, detailed information about registration requirements, visit the AHEA website or contact AHEA.

Working in Alberta

Human ecologists and home economists who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered practitioners in the two jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory? and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

Contact Details

Alberta Human Ecology and Home Economics Association
17508 - 57 Avenue NW
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada  T6M 1G7
Phone number: 780-914-6638
Fax number: 780-481-7448
Email: registrar@ahea.ab.ca
Website: www.ahea.ab.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Below-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Human ecologists may be employed by or work on a contract basis for:

  • consulting firms
  • government
  • utility companies
  • retail outlets
  • food manufacturers, retailers or marketers
  • food commodity organizations
  • home decorating firms
  • apparel and fashion manufacturers or retailers 
  • not-for-profit service agencies 
  • international aid and development agencies.

Human ecologists may move into a wide variety of occupations (see Related Occupations section). With additional training or experience, they may become dietitians in hospitals or food service institutions (for more information, see the Dietitian occupational profile), textile conservators or museum curators (see the Conservator and Curator occupational profiles), or teach in junior and senior high schools, technical institutes or universities. Research positions generally require a post-graduate (master's or doctoral) degree.

Human ecologists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 4164: Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers. In Alberta, 76% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 3,500 Albertans are employed in the Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.1% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 39 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As ihuman ecologists form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for human ecologists. 

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers
NOC code: 4164

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $18.48 $41.30 $29.65 $28.99
Overall $22.50 $52.25 $35.44 $33.78
Top $24.34 $53.85 $38.98 $38.45

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Public Administration
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Health Care & Social Assistance
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

44%
44%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

17%
17%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

7%
7%

2015 Vacancy Rate

3%
Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Management and Marketing
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Foods
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Human Ecology, Fashion and Food Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Alberta Human Ecology and Home Economics Association website: www.ahea.ab.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 02, 2016. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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